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For those of you who are familiar with how to use Twitter and how to utilize it for social recruiting purposes, this post might be a bit of a repeat for you. However, there are still a lot of recruiters and HR professionals out there who are either hesitant to use twitter for social recruiting or simply don’t feel comfortable with platform. Many have expressed their concern for the time commitment it takes to implement a social recruiting strategy or the lack of an explicit measurement of ROI that job boards so easily provide. Last week, this issue was discussed in detail in Why Social Recruiting Fails.
Others simply might not know how to utilize some of the basic tools that Twitter offers – or they might not know what they are trying to accomplish or what information they should be sharing. It seems that these people are often overlooked, and hopefully this post will serve as a kind of tutorial in an effort to answer some of these questions.
First of all, you need to understand that using Twitter will require time. Realistically, we all have varying amounts of time that we can commit to different tasks, but as long as you can spend at least 10 – 15 minutes a day on Twitter you can start your social recruiting campaign. Once you understand the basics, the tools surrounding Twitter, and the interactive process, using Twitter is simple. Ultimately, it’s a free social media platform that opens up an entirely new channel for recruitment marketing.
Interact and Communicate
The first thing you need to do when you join Twitter is to start interacting and communicating. Here are a few tips on how to get this process started:
Building Your Network – So you’ve started an account and the question is “now what?” First and foremost, you need to build up your network, so start off by following professionals and personal connections that you know are relevant to your company and aim. Start to get a feel for the kinds of conversations these people are having, and pay attention to the type of people they communicate with. Eventually, although with time and consistent effort, your network will extend to people who are either looking for a job or might be looking for a job in the future.
Using Twitter Commands – Your goal is to spread the word about employment at your company, but this does not mean that you should just use Twitter as a job board. Although you can post jobs through Twitter, the purpose is to interact and communicate in order to build a reputation and buzz around employment at your company. In order to communicate with other professionals and potential candidates it’s essential to understand and utilize twitter commands. Here is a complete list and explanation of all the essential commands, however, I’ll highlight the most important below:
- The Hash Tag – The hash tag (#) is placed just before a desired keyword within a post – for example, #jobs. Twitter aggregates posts according to their keywords enabling users to search for posts using different hash tags. This essentially allows users, including potential candidates, to follow certain conversations, topics, categories and events. Use hash tags in your posts in order to connect to undiscovered users and follow relevant conversations. Hashtags also provide a great way to see what’s happening at events that you can’t afford to go to. For a list of common job related hash tags click here.
- One popular hashtag that is helpful is #FollowFriday or #FF. Every Friday Twitter users will share with others the Twitter users that they feel other people will follow. This is a great way to highlight your favorite Twitter profiles (and strengthen the relationship in the process) as well as find great new Twitter profiles to follow.
- Mentions – The mention/reply command (@) is the most crucial aspect of interaction and communication. In order to communicate with your network you need to mention specific users in some of your posts. Each user has an account name, and by including ‘@’ just before the name in your post (@usernamehere), that user will be able to see that you’ve mentioned them under their mentions tab on their home profile. Use the mention command when replying to people, commenting on a specific user’s post, or whenever you want to address someone specifically.
Share and Inform
The best way to be successful on social platforms is to “be helpful” to the people that connect and follow you. The question is how do you do this. I’ll give you a hint, it’s more than just posting jobs on your Twitter feed. Instead offer job search tips, resume pointers, and helpful articles in your Twitter status updates. Since your company is most likely involved in a certain industry, make sure to discuss industry specific information and news as well.
Most importantly, create a more comprehensive presence by sharing as much information as possible about your company’s employer brand. Share information that both passive and active candidates want to know about like benefits, company culture, responsibilities, or anything that might build a more complete view of employment. If you have a career site, make sure to link to posts or new employment opportunities in your Twitter posts. The bottom line is that it’s not social recruiting unless it’s interactive and informative, so upkeep and consistent time is necessary to making it work. Jobs are fine, but your feed should be more than just jobs.
There are several free tools and applications for Twitter that can help you manage your posts and communication with other users. Applications like TweetDeck or Hootsuite enable you post simultaneously on several different social media platforms. Most importantly these tools enable you to more easily track conversations, organize your network, and keep up with mentions and replies. All of these applications usually feature one user friendly dashboard, allowing you to more quickly work with Twitter. Make sure to download one or more of these tools to help manage your account.
Social recruiting for Twitter is simple and accessible to anyone, but the reality is that some people have more time to work with social media, and some people have less time. If you really want to go the distance, find a way to involve your employees / recruiters in your recruiting efforts, because nothing is more telling than the actual employee experience. This process will take some creativity, but there are a few things you can consider. If people in your Twitter network ask specific questions regarding employment or a particular position, try to get employees to answer these questions and communicate with these candidates in a timely fashion. You could also encourage employees to use your Twitter account in order to do short posts about their positions and what they like about their jobs.
Hopefully this was helpful to those of you who are looking to get started with Twitter. Remember that Twitter is simply one platform you can use for social recruiting and will work best with in combination with other social media platforms. For instance, if you blog about employment you can also include links to your articles in Twitter, increasing your overall effectiveness with social media. Regardless of the amount of time you have to spend, it’s very important to create some sort of presence through social media using some of these suggestions.